Originally posted on LinkedIn.

Last week I had the pleasure of attending the Barwon New Energy Roundtable hosted by the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning. The diversity of participants from small community organisations to service providers owned by multinationals was impressive. Presentations were diverse. Networking opportunities abounded. This is my approach on how to be Cleverist in making sense of such diverse opportunities.

“What is the core purpose of your business and why does that matter”

Presenters such as Tracey Slatter Managing Director of Barwon Water had a clear message about the core purpose of their business. Others were focused on a particular product or service. Obscuring (perhaps deliberately) their core value. The ability to observe your business and make sense of what it is that is at the core of your skills, experience and assets is essential for leaders. Without this the emotion of a product or service and its success or failure can derail objective assessment of future opportunities.

“Your organisations non core assets: who values them?”

An understanding of the assets and experience your organisation possesses that, are not core but may be valuable to others should not be underestimated. This is your future value creation. Particularly in the context of ‘new energy’ where many of the large businesses in the room will need to fundamentally change their product and / or business model in the next 5-10 years. Transformation which has caused many to flounder. Who values your non core assets? What value do they place on them? How can you test this? Questions worth investing in understanding the answers to.

The supply chain was represented in the room by some notable Australian developed technologies. Traditional suppliers were under represented. As a business leader inspired by such an event what did you hear that could be applied to a supplier with whom you have an existing relationship? Perhaps it was a businesses model. Perhaps a funding model. Perhaps a skill set. In business as in ecology we are all interdependent; a statement that is all too well understood in the Barwon region by second and third tier suppliers to the automotive industry. Attendees at events such as this should look for mutual benefit in deepening and broadening partnerships with those whom a relationship already exists.

Innovation within large organisations where the perceived cost of failure is higher is notoriously difficult. Well defined, diverse, partnerships are one avenue to overcome this. Such partnerships could explore at relatively low risk, non core assets and those who value them.

I encourage you to be Cleverist when thinking about how those you met could be of benefit to your business and ultimately to the community. Look for partnerships which amplify both today’s core value and future value creation opportunities. Seek local means of testing ideas that inspire you; from both your existing human capital and through partnerships.

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